Vacation From Your Job!

Hey yall! I hope everyone is having a good summer. We have about one more month of summer before Labor Day hit and then it’s back to work, school, and watching the leaves turn to different colors for the autumn season. So I have a question for you……..How is your summer time so far?? Wait a minute, you haven’t taken a vacation yet? You do have vacation days from your job right? So why haven’t you taking your time off to relax, shit you earned it!!

I heard so many excuses as to why people don’t take vacations. Here are some common reasons why people don’t take vacations:

1. Lack of money
2. Not enough time to take vacation
3. Nothing to do at home
4. I have too much work to do at my job
5. If I return to work, I have too much work to catch up

I’m sure some of these excuses ring a bell to you. Here is my response to the excuses……I’m Not Buying That!!!!

We all need a break in our everyday routine. The work we do at our job is challenging, and stressful. The vacation hours you collect at work was made for a reason. Taking time off from work has its benefits which I listed below:

1. Improve productivity at work
2. Enhance relationships with spouse, family, friends.
3. Improves concentration
4. Reduce stress
5. Improves physical health

Eliminating the excuses that I mentioned will make it easier for you to practice this self care tactic. Vacations do not require money or taking expensive trips. Vacations can be spent at home (aka Staycation) which activities can include brunch with friends, going to local beach, going to the movies, visiting relatives, getting a message, catching up on your TV shows, attend a free concert at the park, or just SLEEP! 

Don’t worry about your work load. Your projects and your job will be there when you get back. Keep reminding yourself that you are doing the best you can at your job and speak to your boss about your work load before you take your vacation. You have  time to send your car to the mechanic, food shopping, getting your annual physical, etc therefore, you have the time for self care by scheduling time off from your job.

In the summer time, my clients would reschedule or cancel some sessions as they have plans during the summer with friends and family. Students and teachers are off every year at summer time. Companies would close their doors on national (and religious) holidays for their staff.  I took a vacation last month and it was refreshing! This is your time to do the same, your body and mind will thank you.

Young family make a stop on a road trip in their camper van

 

Support For Divorced Women

DivorceYes, the news is out…..you are getting a divorce. It’s not like you were dreaming for this day to come. Divorce is a very common life transition that women go through. It means that you don’t have the relationship with your spouse the way it was suppose to be since the day you met or the day you get married. There are too many issues come at your way while go through this crappy process. Issues like finances, legal fees, child custody, dealing with assets, friends/family who don’t understand or against divorce, the thought of being single again, I guess the list can go on depending your situation. 

So how are you handling this situation? What are some of the things are you doing to cope with this issue. I knew a two co workers of mine who were going through divorce and they told me the financial stress they are going through since the divorce proceedings. One of them had to take a part time side job while the other one did not come up with a clear plan. I will say that the support network between the two co workers are different. Having proper support will make it easier to cope. 

Besides seeking support from a trusted family member or friend, seeking individual counseling is a great coping skill. The feedback that you receive from your therapist is unbiased because he/she does not the people in your personal life and will listen to your feelings carefully. Some therapists are specialized to help you cope with traumatic events that occurred in your marriage like domestic violence, infidelity, or abandonment. I have worked with clients who have experience domestic violence and how the trauma affect their views on relationships entirely. Support groups are a helpful in addition to counseling. Support groups allows members to validate each other’s feelings and learn from one another. Support group for divorcees can reduce isolation, depression, anxiety but increase motivation and self esteem.

I provide counseling to women who are going through this stressful time. While each divorce case is different, it’s unclear what the outcome will be. However, maintaining sanity and practice good coping techniques is something that you HAVE control of. 

When Boss Lady Is The Bully!

As the years go by, more and more women are entering the work force. With more women entering the work force, there is an increase in women who are in management/supervisory positions. Of course many people have their personal opinions about women in charge, or women running a company. Women supervisors can contribute positive things in a company just like male supervisors. But there is a portion of female supervisors who have negative traits that can affect the work place environment for others. Yes, I am talking about bullies!

Let me say, that I had experience female bullies at work. These women are no different than the men who bully their employees. I think for many people the shock value is high on female bullies because the society does not expect women to display that behavior. This is the society where women are viewed as nurturers, caring, understanding, and expressive with their feelings. So why do women bully female staff? What can staff do to handle this situation? First, understand the bullying is a power struggle for the supervisor. The low self esteem, narcissism, and emotional baggage from the past are some of the factors that allow female supervisors to bully their staff. This problem is very common for women of color whose supervisor is of color too. The effects of the bullying for the employee is the similar to an employee who is being sexually harassed. Female employees often experience increase in stress, anxiety, decrease productivity, calling out sick, increase headaches, stomach issues, sleep disturbance, irritability towards co workers, friends, and family. Oh yeah, the list goes on!

When I worked at a social service agency 8 yrs ago, I had to deal with a female boss (a social worker) who was extremely nasty and made my job 10 times harder. You bet your ass I reported her. Just like you, I deserve the respect at work and I refuse to allow anyone to take their power struggles on me. Needless to say, my situation was handled appropriately afterwards. However, some employees who work in other companies may not be so lucky. Don’t forget my brief story is just an example. Many women experience this issue in health care field, corporate, hospitality industry, government, manufacturing, retail, or education field. This is one of the biggest concerns that my clients discuss with me during sessions. This situation is a traumatic experience which can be handle mentally, physically, and at times legally. Please review my January 2017 blog on work place harassment which I explained in detail how to handle the situation. Women have the responsibilities of caring for family, managing a household, and maintaining self care. Why spend 8-10 hours a day working and dealing with the bullshit the boss lady is giving you? Screw that, contact your therapist and learn how to manage this situation and get empowered right now!

Where To Find A Therapist??

Woman lying on therapists couch looking happy as therapist is wr
So, you realized that you have some personal concerns that requires attention and you are ready to get some help. Ok great, but how are you going to find a therapist?  How are you going to select the right therapist for you? All of the sudden, your mind is at a stand still. Well this article can help you have to navigate the right therapist for you.

It’s important to understand that all therapists are not built the same. Many therapists have different specialties in their services. For example, if you had a recent death in your family, a therapist who specialize in grief/bereavement counseling can be the best pick. I work with women empowerment, adults with workplace issues, and adults with chronic illnesses in my practice. Most of my clients who see often fall into those areas. What ever the concerns that you want to address, a therapist who holds that speciality is your best bet. Some people have their own preferences in who they want to speak to. Gender, religion, ethnicity, location, etc can be a deal breaker for people who are looking for a therapist. 

So what are some things to keep in mind when seeking a therapist? Here’s a quick check list to review:

  1. Schedule- It always helps to meet a therapist with flexible or accommodating hours.
  2. Payment- Are you paying out of pocket or insurance? Be sure to check your insurance coverage for in network and out of network therapists.
  3. Word of Mouth- Your friends, relatives, medical doctor, teacher, attorney, etc can be a good resource for your search. 
  4. Location- Do you prefer a therapist near your home or work, or are you willing to travel few extra miles. Make sure public transportation is available.
  5. Credentials/Experience- Is the therapist qualified to do the counseling you need? Ask a lot questions during your phone consultation with the therapist.

The most important thing to remember is that there has to be a good working connection between you and the therapist. Your therapist can support to guide you as you are making changes in your life but provide unbiased, supportive feedback. However, most of the work is done by the client who is receiving the counseling. Go ahead and make that personal change!

 

Depression & Chronic Illness

I’m sure you or someone you know has a chronic illness. These illnesses includes diabetes, COPD, lupus, HIV, obesity, multiple sclerosis, and more. You been dealing with the same chronic illnesses for so many years and it has been cramping your style. People often experience depression due to the obstacles of their chronic illnesses.

Let’s think about this for a moment. You started off living a healthy life and then bam, you got diagnosed with a medical condition with very little chances of it being cured. You are making multiple medical appointments, spending money on co pays, popping different prescription medications, dealing with chronic pain, calling out sick from work multiple times, trying to manage your household but you could barely do so because of your physical ailment, unable to spend time with friends and family because you are too exhausted and just want to be in bed. I mean seriously, I’m getting depress just typing this article……damn!

The depression occurs because once you have a chronic illness, it changes everything in your life, but does that mean it’s the end of your life? Hell NO! It’s ok to feel shock, scared, angry when you hear that you have kidney disease, but what are you going to do next? Without the support and resources the depression can worsen and so will your health condition. Here are a few quick tips to manage your depression.

1. Seek support- Who are your cheerleaders? Who are the people who can listen while you bitch and moan about your situation? Identify the folks who are helpful, reliable, and understanding. Friends, family, church members, therapist, etc.

2. Have a great medical team- Do you trust your medical team? Are they helpful and patient with you during your visits? Having a good rapport, and good services makes a difference mentally. I’m very lucky to have a good team of specialists from Northwell Center when I get treated for my lupus.

3. Counseling- In addition to having a support network, counseling helps as well. A therapist can help guide you to managing your depression by using different techniques like problem solving or stress management. Sometimes, people with chronic illnesses often have negative beliefs about themselves and have difficulty moving forward.

4. Get Educated- Join a support group in your area. You can get support from others who are going through the same thing as well as learning how to manage your life with the condition. Research online and asking questions to medical professionals helps too.

Understand you are not alone with this situation. I work with clients who have chronic illnesses who need help adjusting to their job, home, social life, etc. You can live with the illness, but you don’t want to the illness to live you.

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There Goes A Red Flag.

So, you went on few dates with this guy and you couldn’t help notice a few things about him. His temper quickly flares up when there was a mistake with his dinner order at the restaurant. How he snarls and disrespects his mother when he visited her. He is constantly having drama at work and would often quit a job for the next job and experience the same issue. What do you make of that situation? What do you do next? You brushed it off, and think he is just having a rough time with the wrong people. Your relationship becomes serious and a month later, while arguing, he slapped you in the face for the first time. Were you shocked? Stevie Wonder can see that this guy has issues.

So far I saw three red flags in this scenario but you would be surprised how many people don’t see the red flags. Or did they see it? Hmmm. Often times people like give each other the benefit of the doubt and hope that certain incidents does not blow up in their faces. When I meet with clients, many of them did in fact said that there were red flags in the beginning of relationship but that denial had switched into overdrive. The denial continues despite the warnings coming from friends and families.

Red flags can pop up in any situation. You might notice red flags in a potential job opportunity, or meeting a new friend at a gathering, or when making an expensive purchase like a car or a house. You want to trust your gut instinct. If something does not seem right, don’t do it. Your “gut instinct” is actually your adrenaline running through your body and it can protect you from danger.

How can people improve as far as identifying red flags? First, you have to understand why that pattern occurred in the first place? Using dating as an example, are you afraid to walk away from this relationship too early? Do you think you would not find another man? How do you really feel about yourself? Counseling can help you understand in how you dealt with red flags in the past and how to change it for the better for the future. As usual, counseling will work if you want to make that change. Understand that ignoring red flags can be a recipe for disaster.

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How Many Second Chances???

Hey yall! Back in April 2015, I wrote a blog about toxic friends. This time I’m going to throw something into the mix. 

You have been dating your partner for several months. You had learned that your partner has been cheating on you but you forgive him/her and you move on. However, months later, you found out that your partner is doing the same bullshit again and again. But you still keep going back to that person. Why? What are you trying to gain?

Dealing with the same negative behaviors of your partner makes the issue worse for you. Often times, I hear people give too much of their energy and support to their partner, a friend, or that particular family member only to be screwed multiple times. And then, you ventilate to others about your anger and frustration in how your were treated. Here’s my million dollar question….Should you get mad at that person who treated you like an idiot or should you be mad at yourself for allowing the bad behavior to continue?

I’m sure that you had heard of people saying “Oh give that person another chance…” But how many chances does that person need in order to stop with the bull crap and treat you with respect? Giving one (1) chance may seem reasonable but 5, 6, 7 times…come on, get real. Wishing that the person will change on their own is a fantasy. Not wanting to confront that person is another issue as well. I hear about this when I provide counseling to my clients. 

Usually when people allow negative behavior to continue is an indication that there is an underlying issue within themselves. That person has to question their self esteem, their self worth, and self respect. Counseling can help people deal with self esteem issues, and improve their assertiveness. Once a person master their self esteem and assertiveness, this will leave no room for the other person to mistake your kindness over weakness.

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Harassed At Work? The Next Step!

You probably know a co worker who is being bullied by other co workers due to his/her disability. Or perhaps you had (or currently) been sexually harassed by your supervisor and you are not sure what to do.

Harassment/discrimination can happen to both men and women however, harassment can be based on gender, age, disability (including pregnancy), nationality, religion, and sexual orientation. Many employees were able to report these incidents to the proper channels while other employees did not take any action.

It’s important to understand how workplace harassment can affect you. The hostile work environment can lead to ongoing nervousness, sadness, irritability, hopelessness, damage self-esteem, inability to trust others, changes in sleep patterns, changes in appetite, and decline work performance. While you are suffering with these issues, the employer and/or co worker(s) who are involve are gaining power by continuing with their antics.

So what are you going to do about this situation? Many people believe it’s easier to quit their job, and move on to the next job since they don’t want to create further issues or should I say rock the boat. But when you do that, you are running away from the problem which will continue with future employees and you are unable to get closure for yourself. Understand that hostile work environment is a traumatic experience which can affect how you perform if you were to work at a new job location.

 

David H. Rosenberg ESQ, is a labor and employment attorney in Mineola, NY who represents employees suffering from hostile work environments. He has seen first hand how employees handle their situation prior to meeting with him. “Too many people are quick to resign from their job before finding out their legal rights as an employee. A resignation gives the Company a chance to claim “voluntary resignation” as opposed to “termination”.  Resignation can also destroy an employee’s right to collect   unemployment. More so, employees without insurance coverage face financial hardships when it comes to paying for a mental healthcare professional to help treat the emotional trauma suffered as a result of the discrimination and/or termination” he added.

So here is a quick recap on how to handle workplace harassment:

  1. Become familiar with the workplace harassment policies at your job.
  2. Seek legal consultation with a labor attorney who can guide you through the steps in handling the situation and advocate for you.
  3. Do not resign your job just yet (unless your safety is at risk). Refer to step #2
  4. Get counseling from a therapist to help deal with stress and trauma of your situation. Take advantage of Employment Assistance Program (EAP) that is offered through your employer. Your sessions with the therapist are confidential with EAP and private therapy.
  5. Identify your support network for this stressful time.

Once you complete these simple steps, you will feel empowered and prepared with information to help you get through this situation. You are not alone and you are still a human being who have legal rights as well as feelings. You got this!

 

David Rosenberg ESQ, is a labor attorney in Mineola, NY who represents hostile work environments for the past 11 years. Free legal consultations available for residents of NYC and Long Island. For further information on his legal services, please call 516 741-0300 or visit his website at
http://employeelawnewyork.com/home/4736948

Businesspeople Gossiping Behind Stressed Female Colleague In Office

 

Are You Your Worst Enemy?

Hello again! We are coming to an end of 2016! Time goes so fast. While some of your friends are making plans for the New Years Eve bash, you start to reflect on everything that happen to you since January 1st 2016. How did the year treated you? Or better yet, how did you treated yourself during the year 2016?????????

One of your friends just got engaged and you’re invited to the wedding. You smile and congratulate your friend and the fiancee but deep down you are so pissed that you haven’t met the man/woman that you consider soul mate.

Your co worker got a job promotion and purchased a new car. You gave a fake smile and shook hands to congratulate but again, you kept wondering why you didn’t get the promotion or buy a new car. And then your attitude changes and you start to feel a certain way towards other people, yourself, and life in general. What’s up with that?

Take a look at yourself for a moment. Do people tell you that you complain about the same thing over and over again and being the “Negative Nancy”? Do you tell people what your goals are but never make an attempt to get started? Do you find yourself getting so bitter that you take it out on friends and family? You will be surprise how many people walk around with the mentality “My Life Is Fucked Up And The World Owes Me”. No sorry, the world has nothing to do with how your life turned out. For many people it’s easier to complain, and hate on others than to take action.

Start planning for a change. If you want to settle down and meet a soul mate, then work  on your personal issues about dating and spend more time in the community to meet people. If you want a better paying job, research on job training program, go to school, or evaluate your work performance. Sometimes there are personal issues that we have that may prevent ourselves from getting what we want in life (i.e anger issues, self esteem, trauma, physical ailments, ongoing sadness, etc). Counseling can help with these issues and allow you to take responsibility with your life.

Ok, so what are you waiting for, 2017 is around the corner. Get it cracking now!

mayaangelou

Self Care During A Crisis.

Do you remember the time when you had a crisis in your life? A crisis can be anything from a death in the family, loss of home, lay off from employment, close friend in the hospital, etc. Now that you have an idea of a crisis, think back to how you dealt with the situation. What were some of the techniques that you did to take care of yourself during that stressful time?

Recently, my oldest brother was admitted to the hospital due to severe urinary tract infection. While he was in the hospital, doctors noticed some internal bleeding in his intestines and wanted to do further testing that might pose a risk in his health. One thing that I have to add is that my brother has mental retardation and is not able to speak nor make decisions for himself. Yes, I am the legal guardian for my brother and I have to make decisions on his behalf. The decision maker role can be stressful and scary. Often times I second guess myself when I make a decision for my brother. Luckily, with the support from my colleagues, my cousin, group home staff, and friends, I was able to make decisions for my brother and he receive the proper medical care.

Now back to you….How are you handling your current crisis? Some people use bad coping methods such as:
Excessive alcohol use
Drug use
Over eating crappy foods
Staying up all night
Isolate from others
Sleep all day.

These methods can add more harm to you and your situation than you think. When my brother was in the hospital, I didn’t want to screw up my exercise routine that I had  planned months ago. I continued to do as much as I could in my schedule even if meant squeezing 20 minutes of exercise insead of my usual 90 minutes.

This is the time to turn to trusted people who can give you emotional support as well. Examples of these folks are your therapist, close friend, church member, your pastor, members from your support group, an experienced co worker, etc. I know you are thinking “Yeah, Yeah Wendy, easier said than done….”. You will notice a positive difference if you try. Just do it!

Since I work with doctors and nurses, I was able to get their feedback on medical testing/procedures which allowed me to make the best decision on my brother’s medical care. I always think back to what the outcome of my situation would be if I didn’t speak to anyone. Hmmmm.

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